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Thread: bead head colors/brass or tungsten

  1. #1
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    Default bead head colors/brass or tungsten

    looking to stock up on bead heads and wanted advice, brass or tungsten and what colors work the best.

  2. #2
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    I understand the weight difference and the price.Is the extra wt a plus in the smokies is the color that important gold versus black or bronze?

  3. #3
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    Like most anything in fishing the answer is that it depends. Face it, most all of the umpteen hundred million fly patterns that are out there are for us anglers and not the fish. i.e. I could fish the rest of my life using a dozen patterns (and probably even less) So I don't put a lot of stock in the color of the bead. But that's my opinion.

    I don't think there's that big of a difference between brass and tungston either. If in the Smokies, your goal is to get it down quicker then I don't think the weight difference is going to matter a great deal - just use a split shot. If in calmer water, just throw it a littler higher upstream (which you should be doing anyway)

    I have not noticed much difference between copper and gold beads either. One would think there would be a difference between silver and black, but I have a caddis emerger pattern I tie whereby the only difference is a silver bead or a black bead -- I have never noticed a difference on any given day between the 2 flies.

    I would say to mix it up and experiment.
    Last edited by Cane Pole; 08-02-2012 at 07:30 PM.

  4. #4
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    I use tungsten for nearly all of my bead patterns. When I use a bead it's because I want to get deep.

  5. #5
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    Massive differences in the two, and for me and for however many countless hours I have either fished them myself or watched a clients indicator there is no comparison to the effectiveness of tungsten to brass.

    The idea of a bead head is to get down, and get down now, not slowly descend through the water column. The faster my fly gets to the depth I want to fish than the longer that fly stays in the feeding zone of the fish I am after. Hence the reason I ALWAYS fish tungsten bead heads, period.

    As soon as they came out we ran a bunch of tests side by side with each, there was no comparison between the two. The price difference sucks, but so does the price of gas to get the river.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
    Massive differences in the two, and for me and for however many countless hours I have either fished them myself or watched a clients indicator there is no comparison to the effectiveness of tungsten to brass.

    The idea of a bead head is to get down, and get down now, not slowly descend through the water column. The faster my fly gets to the depth I want to fish than the longer that fly stays in the feeding zone of the fish I am after. Hence the reason I ALWAYS fish tungsten bead heads, period.


    As soon as they came out we ran a bunch of tests side by side with each, there was no comparison between the two. The price difference sucks, but so does the price of gas to get the river.
    Agreed! Tungsten is well worth the money and the results will prove it. However; my main praise is that it helps the fly present in a steady up-right (static) presentation. Tungsten allows the fly to float where it wants to go instead of being dragged by an indicator or bounced around with the myriad of underwater currents. Also; I find it easier to accurately set my depth with a heavier bead. This is crucial when the bigger fish are setting on the bottom on hot days.

    However; there are many times I use lighter beads and wraps for different presentations.
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
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  7. #7
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    I use tungsten on midges, just because the bead is so small, it needs to be tungsten. But thats it, why....because I am poor and tungsten is awfully expensive. For nymphs, I put a few wraps of lead wire behind the brass bead. I guess that helps, who knows. Probably why I don't catch big fish.

  8. #8
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    I found a source where you have to buy a hundred beads at a time and the price ranges $12-$16 depending on the size of the bead. Its a large quantity for me to buy but I suppose they will last many years worth of tying.So the second part of the ? what color?

  9. #9
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    I'm pretty much in the same camp with Grannyknot in that I prefer to use the lead (or leadfree) wire wraps along the hookshank for most of the weight unless the pattern needs to have a thinner profile. I like to think having the weight distributed along the hook instead of concentrated at the eye makes the nymph drift more naturally as opposed to standing on it's head, but maybe that just a figment of my imagination.
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  10. #10
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    Obviously tungsten sinks much quicker than brass, but I disagree that it necessarily translates into more fish caught - in and of itself. There are many other important variables to consider.

    I probably have an equal amount of brass and tungsten in my box. Maybe it's me, but I have never noticed that I catch more with one over the other. I know for sure that I have never left the river saying, "Dang, I should've used the tungsten today."

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